Thursday, September 2, 2010

i wake too early in the morning. so much sun, already. wide cuts of light on the kitchen tiles. light through the blinds where the cat has snapped off six panels with her little grey paws. a cup of tea. weak weak darjeeling, bought in bulk, two heaping sacks, from the bearded man in the corner store. its windows awash with overripe mangos perched on green plastic tiers next to flowers that look, no matter the color or variety, as if gathered from a wedding reception after all the guests have left. i place the flowers on top of the only bookcase in the apartment and watch the cat sniff at the stems.
fall semester has started. three classes: nonfiction (“travel writing” tho i don't travel), and pop criticism. school signals the end of personal quiet, of solitude. to steep: read, daydream all afternoon my face pressed to the window screen staring down at the street below which is lined with equal parts trash and still-ripe leaves. although, i know: this summer contained no solitude. RS tacks a note to my windshield: 2010 the year i fell in love with all caps and elizabeth hall. his backyard cleared off save two plastic lawn chairs and one weepy palm tree. we sit legs sticking to the plastic. i say no no no.

at night, in bed with M., i watch lee marvin play a hard-nosed chicago detective cruising the streets in his immaculate black ford. movies: the big heat. marvin as “vince” a high-ranking gangster. when he suspects ‘his girl’ of messing round on him he corners her by the fireplace, sets his drink down on the mantle, twists the girl’s arm behind her back. chest-puffed up he shouts oh yeah? does not believe her when she says she saw no one, twists her arms harder and harder oh yeah? in the next room, vince's lackeys sit around a small wooden table, just sitting, listening to the girl’s scream, as if waiting for the final scream, and when it comes, as it must come, it is somehow still a shock: vince throws a pot of boiling coffee on her face, disfiguring her forever. i cannot get enough of these gangster films. the stupid blunt brutality. none of this headache of trying to do right by feeling.